Cauliflower Romanesco Minaret
Cauliflower Romanesco Minaret is an absolutely stunning vegetable, which is actually neither Cauliflower or Broccoli but somewhere in between, with a taste and texture similar to cauliflower.
The symmetrical head of lime green pointy curds is visually wonderful and if you grow it yourself you may be unable to bring yourself to break apart and eat it. However, if you do you will be rewarded with its delicious sweet, nutty flavour and crisp texture that makes this vegetable taste every bit as good as it looks.
Children will love this, with its almost alien appearance, and with its high nutritional value this is vegetable that you will definitely want to try.
|When to Sow||April to Mid June (Spring to Mid-summer) outdoors|
|Where to Sow||Like all brassicas, Romanesco cauliflower is best started off in a seedbed or in modules of seed compost. Sow thinly, 1cm (½ in) deep, either direct into a seed bed (rows 45cm apart) or in generous sized modules and keep under a cloche or in a coldframe until risk of frost has lifted.|
|What to do Next||If sown direct, once the seedlings start to appear, gradually thin out to 45 cm over a few weeks, thus ensuring you are left with the strongest plants.|
|If sown indoors or under cover gradually acclimatise the cauliflower plants to outdoor conditions over 7 to 10 days. Like all young plants that have been started off under cover, they will need to be hardened off before they are planted out.|
|If sown in trays or modules plant out into the final growing position, avoiding root disturbance, when the plants have 3 to 4 true leaves (approx. 5 weeks after sowing), 45cm apart and 45cm between each row. Water the day before moving, and keep well-watered until established. Continue to protect with a ground fleece until risk of frost has lifted.|
|Cauliflowers benefit greatly from being fed a high nitrogen fertiliser to boost growth and curd formation. The soil around the root system should also be kept moist at all times.|
|Protect cauliflower heads from direct sun and poor weather by folding over the outer large leaves and securing them if required.|
|Harvest||September to November|
|Handy Tips||Consider putting mulch around the base of the plant to encourage the soil to stay moist and keep in nutrients. Protect from Cabbage White Butterfly with netting.|
|Companion Planting||Nasturtium and mint|
|Nutritional Information||Great source of vitamin C and A, potassium and very high in fibre when eaten raw. Ideal for slimmers as it's low in calories unless of course you serve it with cheese sauce !|
|Serving Suggestion||Cauliflower Romenesco can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, or boiled. The best way of all, though, is with a rich creamy cheese and mustard sauce cooked in the oven with lashings of melted cheese on top.|